Huge congratulations to Kia Nobre, Professor of Translational Cognitive Neuroscience, for being awarded the C.L. de Carvalho-Heineken Prize for Cognitive Science 2022. The award honours her innovative approach to imaging and understanding the human brain as well as the impact of this work on numerous subfields of cognitive neuroscience, including attention, working memory, long-term memory, and language. The Heineken Prizes – awarded every two years to five distinguished researchers – are the Netherlands’ most prestigious international science prizes.
The selection jury (with chair Roshan Cools, Professor of Cognitive Neuropsychiatry at Radboud University Nijmegen and the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition, and Behaviour) was impressed not only by the depth but also by the breadth of Kia's research, and its impact. It identified her as a pioneering and distinguished researcher who has helped to pioneer the transition from cognitive psychology to cognitive neuroscience. Kia was among the first to use several revolutionary techniques to image the brain. For example, early in her career, she measured brain activity via electrodes in the brains of epilepsy patients who had had these electrodes implanted. This led to the discovery of new areas of the brain that play a role in processing words, a major breakthrough in understanding the language network in the human brain. The jury also recognises her commitment to promoting diversity and inclusion, for her exceptional mentoring and leadership skills, and calls her a role model for women scientists.
I’m deeply humbled and over the moon to receive the C.L. de Carvalho-Heineken Prize for Cognitive Neuroscience. I feel beyond lucky to be at the confluence of so many inspirations, influences, perspectives, ideas, methodological know-how, and empirical investigations of so many talented and generous people. Thank you to my wonderful mentors, students, research fellows, and colleagues. For [my husband] Luciano’s boundless love and support, there simply are no words.